My most recent photo project is finally finished - a nearly king size quilt commemorating our Big Ass Trip.  This is unlike any other photo project I've ever worked on, and I think it's safe to call this my biggest creative accomplishment since I left college. 

Unfortunately, I have yet to master the art of photographing a really big blanket well, but this gives you an idea. We have also been sleeping with it every night, so it already looks pretty wrinkly loved.

While I was out adventuring, I maintained a correspondence with my dear friend Liz Gresey.  She made a great suggestion and offered up the idea of printing my photos on fabric. Thus, the quilt idea was born.  Everything about the quilt is meaningful - as we traveled, I purchased fabric in each country. I tried to buy something that represented the place, but in some cases I found a fabric I loved and had to go for it.  I also didn't want to get anything too girly, because this is a quilt for two and I didn't want Greg to feel like he was wrapped up in Laura Ashley.

Then when we got home, I edited my photos - about 1200 down from 6500.  Selecting a few photos from each country, I used this amazing stuff called Bubble Jet Set 2000 and printed my photos directly onto fabric at home. I didn't even use my 3800 for fear of destroying it - a little Canon home printer (thank you, Craigslist) did the trick. There are 49 pictures across 7 rows of 7 10" square blocks. Here's a detail:

Another "in-every-country" activity we did was cook with people in their homes to learn traditional/local recipes.  A handwritten cookbook resulted from my notes, so I thought that would be perfect for the back - a generic print from the local fabric store wouldn't do. I scanned in the drawings and recipes I created along our route, and put them together in a pretty sweet bullseye pattern to create the back of the quilt.  Because I have a strong affinity for all things vintage, I complimented my handwriting with some illustrations from a great 1970s cookbook I scored at Heirloom Books

Since I wanted almost 3 yards of continuous printed fabric, I didn't want to undertake this at home - Spoonflower did the printing for me, and it turned out great! My mom came out while I was wrapping it up, and she helped me tie it together and finish the edges - super cool to have her hands on this too.

Hopefully this is something that will be around for my kids to enjoy someday, but I definitely want to use it so who knows how long it will last. The whole process was so educational, fun, and interesting - I have MAD respect for quilters. I don't think I have it in me to follow an actual pattern (I made mine up).

This has literally been about 18 months in the making so I'm very glad to put it to bed (pun!) and finally be able to just enjoy it.

And now onto publishing a book...


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